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Mato Kotwani

Partner   |  
Advocate & Solicitor (Singapore)

Mato’s practice areas encompass civil and commercial litigation, criminal litigation (white-collar and general crime), employment law and other advisory work

key areas of practice

  • Civil & Commercial Litigation
  • Criminal Law
  • Employment Law
  • Debt Recovery
  • Corporate Compliance

Mato’s experience encompasses acting for individuals and corporations in complex civil and commercial disputes, conducting criminal defence for both white-collar and general crime offences, and advisory work. He regularly acts for clients in litigation before the State Courts and High Court of Singapore.

Mato also regularly acts for and advises corporate clients on employment matters, regulatory matters, including compliance with local legislation and regulatory frameworks such as PDPA regulations and MAS policies and guidelines.

Mato also believes strongly in giving back to the community and engaging in volunteer work. He is a volunteer with the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme and a member of the Criminal Legal Aid Merits Tester Panel. He is also a legal advisor to the Singapore Talents Artistes and Resources Association (“STAR Association”), which is an association that champions the interests of businesses, employees, talents and freelancers involved in the events and entertainment industry in Singapore.

key areas of practice

  • Civil & Commercial Litigation
  • Criminal Law
  • Employment Law
  • Debt Recovery
  • Corporate Compliance

Areas Of Practice And Experience

Civil and Commercial Litigation

  • Acted for a company involved in disputes with numerous other financial institutions who were claiming against the company for aggregate sums in excess of US$30 million. This dispute involved elements of fraud by a listed company and cross-border issues involving multiple other parties.
  • Acted for directors of a private equity fund, who were sued by the judicial managers of the fund for, inter alia, breach of directors’ duties and unlawful means conspiracy, for an aggregate sum of US$40 million.
  • Represented a distressed company in an application for a moratorium under the former S211B of the Companies Act. The company was involved in telecommunications systems engineering and operated in Asia Pacific and the Middle East. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they faced a significant cash-flow crunch, which resulted in multiple claims by both trade and institutional creditors. Successfully obtained a moratorium and this prevented creditors from commencing or continuing legal proceedings against the company during the moratorium period.
  • Acted for a Plaintiff in a High Court suit involving fraud, misrepresentation and unlawful means conspiracy. The Defendants had through various misrepresentations and fraud induced the Plaintiff to invest monies into a financial product. The Plaintiff’s case was that the Defendants then used the investments to pay themselves exorbitant salaries and eventually depleted all funds invested.
  • Acted for a Plaintiff (tenant) in a High Court suit involving a claim in misrepresentation against the landlord and property agent of a commercial property. The defendants had misrepresented that the commercial property was approved by URA for use as a restaurant.
  • Represented a client who had contributed more than 95% of the purchase price of a HDB property. The second owner had contributed less than 5% of the purchase price and several years later tried to claim for an almost equal share of the flat. Successfully obtained orders from the High Court for a sale of the flat with the sale proceeds to be divided in the proportion of 95% in favour of our client.
  • Advised foreign clients on cross border issues such as enforcing of foreign judgments in Singapore as well as the taking of evidence in Singapore to assist in foreign proceedings.

Criminal Law (White Collar Crime)

  • Acted for and advised numerous accused persons involved in prosecutions under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA). These charges involved offences relating to the corrupt solicitation or receipt of gratification, abetment of offences under the PCA as well as cases involving the making of false statements under the PCA.
  • Acted for individuals charged under the Customs Act and the Good and Services Act for tax evasion.
  • Acted for and advised individuals and companies charged under the Income Tax Act for numerous offences including making false statements relating to PIC claims and failure to file annual returns;
  • Represented accused persons charged with various types of financial crime (theft, criminal breach of trust, money-laundering related offences under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act (CDSA)).

 Criminal Law (General Crime)

  • Acted for individuals charged with violence related offences:
    • Acted for the accused person in PP v Shawalludin bin Sa’adon. The accused person was initially charged with murder. Charges were successfully reduced to voluntarily causing grievous hurt and secured a sentence of 5 ½ years imprisonment for the offender. Link
    • Acted for an individual charged with causing hurt using a dangerous weapon. Through negotiations with the prosecution, obtained a reduction in the charge to voluntarily causing hurt. Successfully secured a lower sentence in Court as the victim had provoked our client.
  • Acted for accused persons charged with various sexual offences including outrage of modesty, voyeurism and other sexual offences. Also acted for an accused person who was a nurse at the Institute of Mental Health and had committed a series of sexual offences against patients and ex-colleagues. Link
  • Acted for individuals charged for various traffic related offences including dangerous driving, negligent driving causing death and driving whilst under disqualification.

Advisory Work

  • Regularly advise both employees and employers on employment related matters. This includes drafting and advising clients on employment contracts, acting for and advising clients in employment related disputes including wrongful termination and/or unfair dismissal and dismissal on grounds of serious misconduct. Mato also advises clients including employees at middle management and C-suite management on enforceability of restrictive covenants including non-compete/non-solicitation clauses;
  • Mato also advises businesses on data protection obligations. This includes reviewing the company’s current PDPA policies, and structuring appropriate defensive policies to ensure compliance not only during the employee or vendor’s period of employment but also to ensure that employees and vendors continue to protect core interests post-service.

Memberships & Appointments

  • Member, Law Society of Singapore
  • Member, Singapore Academy of Law
  • CLAS Merits Test Panel, Law Society Pro Bono Services

Advisory and Volunteer Work

  • Advisor, Singapore Talent, Artistes & Resources Association (STAR)
  • Volunteer, Criminal Legal Aid Scheme (CLAS)

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1 Coleman Street #08-02 The Adelphi Singapore 179803